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FEATURE - March 2017 - Kansas City
Balance is the Key to Wellness
by Nancy Oglesby, CHHC
Most experts agree that diet is the greatest factor in wellness, followed by exercise, but we all know, or have known someone, that works out religiously and eats well, but still gets sick regularly or ends up with a chronic disease or cancer. So, what’s going on?
You can feed your body good, healthy foods and maintain a regular exercise program but, without nourishment for your soul, your health will suffer. Joshua Rosenthal, in his book Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness, refers to nourishment for your soul as primary food and the foods you eat as secondary food, saying, “Diet-related disorders such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes are national epidemics, and one of the main reasons is because we are stuffing ourselves with secondary foods when we are really starving for primary food.”
When elements of a healthy lifestyle are out of balance it causes stress. Researchers are finding that chronic stress is a precipitating factor in illness and disease. It’s important that we have a satisfying career and well-balanced social life, are living within our financial means, have an outlet for creative expression, a fulfilling spiritual practice, community involvement and/or volunteering, continue learning new things, and get restful sleep.
Are you aware of your satisfaction level in these areas? Here’s an exercise to help you determine the areas to focus on. Rate your satisfaction in each area from 1 (not satisfied) to 10 (super satisfied). Then connect the dots to see your ‘balance’ and identify those areas that you need to work on to bring yourself into harmony.
The example on the right belongs to Jenna. It’s clear that focusing career, education, relationships, and spirituality will bring the greatest change. So, what can she do to effect change?
Schedule time to give each one of these areas some serious thought. List the reasons for the low satisfaction scores and explore your beliefs surrounding them. Then, look at the high satisfaction scores and identify what’s different about your beliefs regarding them. Now go a step further and journal about what that means to you.
Working with a trusted friend, or a life or business coach, identify potential solutions, look for any resistance to them, and working either alone or with a partner, explore how those solutions make you feel. Develop a list of workable ideas.
Prioritize the solutions and write out a plan to bring about change in your life. Each action should be measurable so that you will always feel as though you are on track to bringing things into balance.
Schedule regular accountability meetings with your coach or friend. This is critical to your success. All too often we see a problem, think of a solution, and let ourselves be drawn off course.
Hopefully, Jenna has done Step 1 and discovered the reasons behind her dissatisfaction. In some cases, the solutions become obvious once we put words to our feelings. At other times our self-talk has us defeated before we even ask the questions. Because career is coupled with education dissatisfaction, and Jenna couldn’t see how to move forward, she decided to work with a coach to determine how to proceed.
If you’re in a rut and you don’t see a way out, whether it’s your career, your finances, your healthy food or your relationships, look through the pages of this magazine and find yourself a coach! They are trained to help you break through what’s blocking your happiness.
When I moved to Kansas City in 2006 I didn’t know anyone except my son. I was an older adult and worked with people much younger than me. I knew my son wouldn’t appreciate it if I relied on him for my social life, so I made a plan to step out of my comfort zone and get to know people. I started going to a church, and after a year, I didn’t really feel like I fit in, so I moved on to another where I developed wonderful relationships. I joined an adult concert band and met some great people and found friends through Meetup. I joined a community center, started my own business, joined some small networking groups, then ABWA and BNI. I got involved in things and became a member of the leadership teams and boards.
I knew that I was scoring low on career, relationships, and spirituality and developed a plan to get back some balance. The plan didn’t go off without a hitch! I continue to assess my life balance and adjust. Learning is a lifelong adventure, and knowing what’s off-kilter gives you direction. The moral of the story is to never give up, just change course.
What does your chart look like? How might the stress that you’re under be challenging your health? We have the power to overcome our genetic predisposition to chronic disease, but when we are stressing out over life, we leave ourselves vulnerable. Couple that with poor eating habits and a lack of exercise and you understand American’s poor state of health.
Don’t let the myth that diet and exercise are the only place to focus. Copy the chart, fill it out and develop your plan ... You’ll be happier for it!
Rosenthal, Joshua. Integrative Nutrition (Third Edition): Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness (Kindle Locations 2735-2736). Integrative Nutrition Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Nancy Oglesby is an author, educator, and coach offering services based on her mission to inspire healthy, sustainable lifestyle choices. Her new book, No Kale Required: Healthy Eating Ideas for the Rest of Us has hit the market and is taking off because of her down-to-earth approach that appeals to most everyone.
As a highly-rated speaker, Nancy engages the audience through her self-effacing humor and sheer joy at the ease with which healthy changes can be incorporated into a busy life. She loves sharing ways to actually achieve change!
Services include: presentations/classes, company wellness programs, webinars, individual and group coaching, feature articles and guest blogs.
Chart based on Integrative Nutrition has a Life Wheel